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National Board Certification

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In 1986, as a follow-up to the highly publicized report, A Nation At Risk, the Carnegie Task Force on Teaching as a Profession issued its findings in A Nation Prepared: Teachers for the 21st Century. The Carnegie report asserted that world-class schools required a world-class teaching force and the assurance of a quality teacher in every classroom. The Task Force noted that while many excellent teachers were already working in schools, their efforts often went unrecognized and unrewarded, and even worse, their knowledge and skills often were under-utilized. Underscoring the need to recognize and reward quality teaching, the Task Force called for the establishment of a national board for advance certification. The following year, the national Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) was created.

From the start, NBPTS concentrated its energies on defining outstanding teaching. As North Carolina Governor James B. Hunt, Jr., founding chair of the BBPTS, asserted, "Improved student learning depends on one thing to start with---a quality teacher." To this end, the mission of the National Board is: to establish high and rigorous standards for what accomplished teachers should know and be able to do, to develop and operate a national voluntary system to assess and certify teachers who meet these standards, and to advance related education reforms for the purpose of improving student learning in American schools.

National Board Certification (NBC) offers the teaching profession a way to define and encourage exemplary teaching. NBC is an advanced teaching credential that goes beyond state licensure and is a challenging professional development experience. NBC is a symbol of professional teaching excellence that is awarded to teachers whose performance meets National Board standards, as demonstrated through a series of assessments that involve both school-site and assessment center activities.

Teachers are central to all aspects of the National Board's efforts. Teachers comprise a majority of the NBPTS board of directors. They influence all facets of the National Board's work, form standards-setting to assessment development, including the scoring of all candidate performances. As such, National Board standards for exemplary teaching, and the NBC assessments that demonstrate attainment of those standards, are developed by teachers for teachers---not imposes by those outside the profession.

The purpose of National Board Certification is to improve student learning by strengthening teaching. To this end, the National Board has defined the knowledge, skills, and accomplishments that characterize teaching excellence. Through its assessments, the National Board identifies teachers who meet high and rigorous standards and communicates what accomplished teachers should know and do.

For more information please visit the NBPTS Web Site.